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Jo's Journal - February

Posted: by Jo Wednesday, 27 February 2019 @ 11:44

I have been lucky enough this year to go on holiday already, with five days in Iceland in the middle of February. It was my husband’s 50th birthday, and he was really keen to see the Northern Lights.

Having booked the trip some months ago, I started to worry about the weather. Every forecast showed heavy snow for the days we were due to be there, so chances of seeing the Northern Lights seemed more and more remote.

Getting on the plane, I felt pessimistic and disappointed, before we even got there. While there are many fabulous things to do in Reykjavik itself and Iceland as a whole, I knew my husband’s main objective was the Lights – and the weather looked like it was completely against us.

I should have had more belief. As we landed, on a clear blue-sky day, and walked around the city under bright cloudless skies, I started to allow myself to believe that we might be in luck. And so it proved, with a fabulous display that very evening!

jo and paul on holiday

And as it happened, the huge and impressive Gullfoss Waterfall; the other-worldly experience of the Blue Lagoon; the sheer adventure of snowmobiling on a glacier; the incredible upward burst of the enormous geysers; the warm friendliness of the city itself and the wonderful Icelandic people - all actually proved more meaningful and enjoyable to me than seeing the Northern Lights!

So, a great lesson for me. Not to pre-judge. Not to think so negatively. Not to have such a narrow focus on a specific outcome, that you might miss out on other joys. The mantra I should have remembered, before the trip? ‘I attract only good things’.

We have already been very busy in the Mantra team this month, starting a new collaboration with the wonderful Holly Matthews, who is one of the most resilient and positive people we know; and finalising a necklace in support of Women for Women International (UK Registered Charity Number 1115109). We launch this next charity necklace on International Women’s Day, and it has the mantra, ‘We are all sisters, by birth or by bond’ – celebrating the similarities between women the world over, not our differences.jo and sinade at the jewellery cut

I am taking part in a panel discussion of female entrepreneurs for Royal Bank of Scotland on International Women’s Day in March, which will be very interesting, I am sure – so I have been preparing for that.

 I also had the chance, along with Sinade, to be a VIP guest at ‘The Jewellery Cut’, a highly curated event of beautiful pieces from a small number of jewellery designers, organised by Rachael Taylor. As a team, we all absolutely love jewellery, so it was wonderful to see work from so many up and coming designers that we didn’t know.

We believe there is something inherently special about jewellery – because it is personal – you wear it against your skin; precious; lasting; and acts as a prompt or reminder through the day of its meaning or message. So it was really wonderful to have a day chatting with like-minded people about their beautiful designs.

Jo Stroud with family

We are also getting ready for two major wellbeing events in March – Live Well London and the Mindful Living Show – where we are exhibiting Mantra, and I am also running my ‘Find your mantra’ workshops.

Right at the end of the month, I went to the Lake District with my sister, where we met up with our 88-year-old auntie. She is my mum’s last remaining sister, so we spent a lovely day and evening looking at old photos and cine-film, and chatting about my mum in her youth. We learnt so much about my mum and our family that we simply didn’t know before – so it was a timely reminder to talk more with older people about family history – before it’s too late.

I look forward to catching up with you again in March.

Jo xx


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